Modern Art

Anancy Story

Abstract portrate of a Guyana ghost or

Abstract portrate of a Guyana ghost or    Abstract portrate of a Guyana ghost or    Abstract portrate of a Guyana ghost or   
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Item-Description:Abstract portrate of a Guyana ghost or "anancy" story
Medium:Acrylic on canvas
Country & Artist:Guyana - Dudley Charles (b.1945 )
Dimensions:160 x 136 cm
Provenance:Purchased from the artist in 1984
Condition:Framed, titled and signed on the reverse
Notes:Dudley Charles: Born in Plaisance, East Coast Demerara, Guyana in 1945, Dudley Charles was one of the foremost artists of Guyana during the 1980’s working along side such artists as Donald Locke and Denis Williams. He has exhibited extensively, including Sao Paolo, Brazil, Lagos, Nigeria, London, England, Nagoya Japan and New York City. Many of his works are in National collections worldwide. He now lives in New York, USA. Several of his paintings were hosted at the Guyana Embassy, Washington DC in February 2017, an event staged to celebrate the 47th anniversary of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. He describes his art as an expression of events and images encountered in his life, “I evoke a magical landscape leading the viewer into the spirit world were we meet the ancestors”. Many of his paintings evoke ghosts and the spirit world.

Anancy Story:This is a typical painting from Charles describing his journey into the spirit world surrounding Guyana history and culture and the history of slavery in his country. Anansi tales originate from Ashanti people from Ghana in West Africa, but travelled to the West Indies during the Atlantic slave trade. “Anansi, because of his stealth and wisdom, was celebrated as a symbol of slave resistance and survival able to turn the tables on his oppressors by using his cunning and trickery”. In Guyanese culture, “anancy stories” celebrate this tradition by evoking the world of spirits and ancestors.

In this painting the spirits of slaves rise up to confront the cruelty of the plantation owner, sat in a resplendent pose overseeing his domain. The ghostly image of his wife passes across a small window on his left.

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